I met up with my mom for brunch yesterday morning so I could give her the rundown of how the workshops went. We decided to split the difference in distance and meet in Durham, where the university is. Saturday morning at a breakfast place in a college town is a pretty busy time and we didn't get seated at a booth, so sometimes we had to nearly shout to hear each other, but it did give me ample opportunity to observe students outside the classroom. Not a pretty sight. Sometimes I wish one of those stupid makeover shows would come along and makeover the entire campus so the college girls would stop dressing so friggin shlumpy. It's like a uniform-- jeans or sweats and a gray college logo hoodie. And lots of concealer, foundation and eyeliner. Looks crappy, girls. Really.
Anyway, my point here is not to chastise the appearance of college students, or not just to chastise the appearance of college students, but to recall something my mom said to me that I thought was extremely sweet of her. After I had blathered on a bit at warp speed about the corporate training experience, she told me she thought I had really made the right choices as far as my career goes, despite some of the personal difficulties those choices had brought me (i.e, the whole marriage and dealing with inlaws thing). It was nice to hear her acknowledge that she believed that I wasn't simply out of my mind for choosing to live on the other side of the world in a culture so different and difficult to fathom. She gets that there was actual value in it and she also understands that right now my priorities are more about being around to parent my girl than they are about pursuing my career. So many people like to tell me I should go teach down in Boston, but they don't understand that all that commuting would mean less time available to spend with my girl and would also be some kind of nail in my coffin in this still-ongoing custody dispute. In a few more years she's going to be more interested in her friends and her own schedule. I'll still know what I know a few years from now and will still be able to push forward more with my "career".